"Sorry. We didn't know," the catering boss lady said at the start of a recent shift. She was apologizing because of the clients. I had arrived early in the morning at a Peninsula location. We were providing breakfast and lunch for a group that had vastly different beliefs from my own. Other staff members were appalled and even disgusted, too. We checked out their literature and hand outs and stifled giggles and sneers. But it wasn't going to be fun. We were warned there was high security for this event, and to expect protesters and perhaps other disturbances. Great.
Yes, the group seemed to be outrageously nutty to me. I could think of rebuttals to every point they made throughout the day. But I remained quiet and kept working. I wondered who the attendees were. I was surprised such a large group existed in the Bay Area. Their program was piped into the kitchen. We decided to listen, even if we all STRONGLY disagreed. I thought I might learn something, and I did; some sad souls are out there.
"Why didn't you leave? I would've!" my friend said, as I recounted who the clients were. I shrugged. She has the luxury of a full time job, with benefits. That's not how catering works. The clients weren't a group of anti-abortionists or white supremacists. Truth was, I didn't want to jeopardize my standing with the catering company, and leave them hanging. Plus, I needed the money.
When I left, there were about twenty people marching on the sidewalk. I wanted to honk my horn, roll down the window, and say, "I'm with ya!" But I had my chef pants on. It would be foolish to make trouble for my employer, too. So instead, I turned up the news radio and sped away.